Suffolk House is a historic grand mansion, open for guided tour in day time. The restaurant is located in the back section of the mansion. We were not allowed to take photos of the outside building, the compound and inside of the mansion. I thought it was awkward that the mansion’s caretaker was quite abrupt towards restaurant customers dining in the mansion. We arrived early to look around the compound. She waved her hands fiercely towards us when we arrived at the mansion compound. We took a couple of pictures of the front facade. We looked at each other wondering why she was standing at the front door, with her right arm and hand waving towards us to come quickly. We walked towards her and her immediately response to us was, “don’t stand on the gravel…you can fall!” We both looked at each other and gasp, not sure what to make from her first remark.
I replied, “how can we fall from standing on the gravel?”
“we are not wearing high heels.”
Then, she said, “are you here for the restaurant?”
“yes” I said.
“the restaurant is at the back through the marble hall” she replied.
“NO picture!” she added.
We got the message and walked towards the restaurant.
Obviously, the mansion’s caretaker doesn’t know the meaning of courtesy and giving positive impression of the mansion.
So, if you are thinking of visiting the mansion – either know where you are going or be “greeted” by an unfriendly caretaker.
I was glad to see the same staff and manager working at the restaurant. They remember me, including “Baby” seen here with my partner. I didn’t take a picture of Eric-a this time.
The service, once again, was professional and polished. And, the outdoor bar lounge was relax with a nice classic colonial ambiance. We were surprise how quiet it was, set behind big trees from two major roads with busy traffic.
The interior of the dining room was elegant and classic with high ceiling, soft lighting, crystal chandeliers, high timber shutter doors with long burgundy velvet drapes.
There was not much we can say about the food. Both my partner and I thought the food presentation was good, but taste was ordinary. Nothing to rave about. Maybe we have higher expectation for a fine dining restaurant that this place was trying to aspire. However, there were other local food bloggers raving about this place, including the food. I guess our expectations for such a place, considered top end, can be better in the flavour and texture of the dishes. The total bill came to MYR$460, with a bottle of an overpriced Australian red wine, two cocktail drinks, five small entree tasting plates, one main, and a trio of dessert.
The first entree – mini parmesan cheese croissant as amuse bouche. It was very, very tiny looking croissant. A bit dry, hard and very cheesy. It almost looked ridiculous in the white soup spoon. I thought this entree was a mistake, especially to come as the first course. First impression was so important. But, visually this was a let down.
Second entree – grilled shoyu mirin squid with orange sage glaze, cherry tomato compote, celery and apple slaw. The squid was nice and tender, with a nice sweet flavour from the orange glaze. Not a bad dish.
Fourth entree – watercress zucchini soup with garlic butter parsley toast, scallion and garlic infused oil. This was a very good soup. It was rich with flavour with a thin layer of scallion and garlic infused oil floating on top. I remember in my first visit, I was impressed with the soup as well. I will go for the chef’s special of the day soup any time.
Fifth entree – tomato sorbet with sour plum shaving. I wonder if this is the restaurant signature entree. It was on the menu the last time I was there. And, I was told that the menu changes weekly. I love tomatoes, but found the flavour of a tomato sorbet with sour plum shavings a bit odd. It was definitely an acquired taste of either love or hate the sour plum.
Main. I ordered the cornflake crusted cod with lemon butter cream and coconut glaze, shallot coriander rice pilaf, broccoli floret. I like this. The cod was perfectly cooked, with a nice layer of cornflake crust. The flavour was good. The vegetables unfortunately were bland and lack seasoning.
My partner had roasted chicken with mushroom, leek and turkey ham stuffing, worcestershire chicken jus, fondant potato, buttered snow peas. The chicken was nice and tender, but lack flavour and seasoning. The vegetables was bland and lack seasoning, like the other dish.